Raised on 3 continents, ShiShi incorporates his experiences from around the globe, especially embedding his Indian heritage into his music. His music speaks for itself, as he’s reached over 20 million streams worldwide. He’s gained the support of artists such as AR Rahman, Major Lazer, Mark Knight, ASADI, Lost Frequencies, Axel Thesleff, Bolier, MEMBA, Gorgon City, Quix, Vincent, FIGHT CLVB, Gregor Salto and more. Spotify featured him on their “No Borders” playlist, as well as a Spotify-produced documentary about rising artists.
ShiShi sat down with SPIN to talk about the best advice he’s been given as an artist, infusing cultures & styles in his music, his Indian heritage, and much more. Stream Chrysalis here and check out ShiShi’s electrifying SET below!
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Who is ShiShi and what do you stand for?
I am a spiritual seeker and musical artist. I stand for radical authenticity and the personal freedom to enjoy being oneself as fully as possible. This is what I aim to inspire with my music, poetry, shows, podcast, and everything I create.
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
My sound is a blend of my Indian heritage, having a mother who is a classical Indian vocalist, being raised on three different continents, learning classical violin at a young age, falling in love with classic rock and playing guitar as a teenager, and learning to make music on my computer as a young adult. It was actually my shyness and social awkwardness as a teenager that drove me to make music on my computer, which eventually influenced so much of my creative process. My Indian roots come through pretty clearly in a lot of my music and my violin training and early understanding of music theory gave me a good ear for melodies and harmonies. Discovering guitar and rock music gave me the courage and inspiration to express myself by making my own music. Led Zeppelin is my favorite band of all time and they definitely influenced me because of their amazing ability to play in so many different genres and styles so masterfully. A more contemporary influence was Diplo and his group Major Lazer, for similar reasons. Finally, my spiritual path and experiences with meditation and healing modalities over the past 6 years have deeply influenced the purpose behind my music – I create with a much clearer intention to serve others than when I first started.
Was there a definitive turning point to your success?
That’s an interesting question. I still don’t feel anywhere close to having “made it” as an artist, and in a way I never want to feel that way … I always want to feel hungry and motivated and inspired. But I think just internally committing to the process of creating music for the rest of my life was a turning point a few years ago – making that commitment to my craft.
When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
I still feel like I have a long way to go to have the level of impact I am capable of as an artist and human being in this lifetime, but whenever I get a message from a fan telling me that one of my creations got them through a really rough patch or helped them change their perspective, it reminds me of why I do this and the importance of continuing.
What originally got you into music?
I grew up learning and playing classical violin, and my mom is a classical Indian singer, so music has always been in my life. But picking up a guitar for the first time when I was 11/12 was what got me interested in actually being an artist and creating my own music.
What is the best advice you have ever been given as an artist?
Don’t take advice from someone who isn’t where you want to be.
What is the biggest obstacle you have encountered in your journey as an artist?
My own self-doubt and limiting beliefs.
How has being raised in 3 continents inspired your music’s sound?
Because I grew up with friends from all over the world, I’m always making connections between cultures and styles that wouldn’t immediately be thought of together. This wide palette of influences has helped me to develop my sound.
In what ways have you pushed yourself beyond existing self-imposed limitations?
By recognizing that they are just stories, and are empty of any fundamental or substantial reality. My background with Zen meditation has really helped me to see through the illusory nature of insecurities.
I’m planning a tour through India to promote CHRYSALIS – my first as a live act. I’m already working on a lot of new music, which will be coming soon on my record label CASHIR, and I’m also creating an online course to help people tap into their authentic, unique personal creativity – that will be available through my Patreon page in the Spring. Other than that, I’ll continue to release weekly conversations on my podcast The Sacred Giggle, and I am also creating some live retreats that will combine meditation, embodiment, music, sound healing and other modalities to help people live more in alignment with themselves. You can stay updated on everything by joining my mailing list.
What do you wish for the future of electronic music?
For a deeper healing intention behind the music and events in the space. Dancing and dance music can be an incredible force for personal transformation if we respect it that way.
In what ways would you like to see it evolve?
I would love to see more artists create with a purpose that goes a little deeper than just creating music for people to party to (nothing against that of course). There are so many talented artists out there and we can do a lot of collective healing when we infuse the mastery of our craft with the right intentions. The same goes for events and event organizers. I see this shift already happening and look forward to seeing it continue.
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?
Thank you for having me! And thanks to all who took the time to learn a little more about my story. Sending you all love and joy.